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Contact and Conflict in English Studies

Assistant editors: Christian Grösslinger / Christopher Herzog


Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Herbert Schendl

The book presents contributions to the 2012 conference of the Austrian Association of University Teachers of English in which scholars of various fields of English Studies discuss aspects of contact and conflict in Anglophone literatures, critical theory, cultural studies, interdisciplinary and comparative English studies and English linguistics. The papers reflect current research in these areas and show that disciplinary classifications are no longer as rigid as they used to be: Topics are as widely spread as linguistic variation, Māori English, English as a lingua franca, intergenerational conflict, hip hop discourse, literature and the creative arts, science drama, childhood in crime fiction, and the crisis of «high art».
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Hip Hop Discourse: Identity Formation and Tirolean Youth


← 114 | 115 → JULIA AVERILL

This ethnographic study investigates how Austrian adolescent boys engage in hip hop discourse to forge social identities in light of global forces that are exerted upon local contexts. The purpose of this study is to contribute to a growing understanding of the impact of American hip hop practices on cultures globally, particularly focused upon the adaptation of adolescent identities and language. At a broader scope, this study contributes to studies of globalization and in particular the relationship of the local and the global.

In order to frame the concepts and methods of this study, I look to three key theoretical constructs which present noticeable overlap. Each of these include a discussion of identity – a concept central to my main source of inquiry. As this study seeks to interrogate the relationships between language production and identity formation, the three concepts, including sociolinguistic ethnography, humanistic linguistics, and performative theory, play critical roles in guiding the methods of inquiry and giving shape to analysis and interpretation.

First, this study is organized following principles of sociolinguistic ethnography as expressed by Gumperz (1982), Hymes (1974), and Johnstone (2000), particularly regarding standards of evidence and ethnographic procedures. Gumperz (1982) offers a series of tools with which to frame the study. What is most applicable to my research is his insistence that communication does not rely on speech alone, rather it is the positionality within social context that creates meaning. He further states that “conversationalists thus rely...

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